Synopses & Reviews
A complete and compelling account of the fall of Constantinople, the siege that gave rise to today's jihad.
When Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, a remarkable era in world history ended. Constantinople, the "city of the world's desire," was a wealthy, imperial, intimidating, and Christian city, influencing world opinion for a thousand years. The fall of Constantinople marked the end of the Byzantium Empire and the end of the medieval era. Thereafter, two worlds would rise that of the West and that of the Middle East.
1453 is brought to life by the stories of its two ambitious battling leaders Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium. It is a vivid, intense tale of courage and cruelty, of technological ingenuity, of endurance and luck. Impeccably researched and told as a real-life adventure, the book explores the issues that led up to and resulted from the fall of Constantinople in a way that is easily grasped and jumps from the pages into the headlines of world news. 1453 is the story of a moment of change that has new relevance today a crucial link in the chain of events that besets the modern world.
"On May 29, 1453, Ottoman forces, under the leadership of Mehmet II, concluded their long and bloody siege of Constantinople by storming the city and overtaking it. According to Crowley, who works in publishing in England; the Ottoman conquest of the city brought to an end centuries of conflict between the Byzantine Empire and Islam. In overwhelming detail and colorless prose, Crowley chronicles the story of an ancient city and its attraction to members of two major religions. Before Mehmet's conquest, Constantinople had faced various unsuccessful sieges, and Crowley faithfully records them. The most destructive events came between 1341 and 1371, when earthquakes and the Black Death devastated the city, turning it into a forlorn series of villages. Although the Byzantine capital recovered enough of its former glory to entice Mehmet to its walls, even he felt tremendous disappointment, finding the city didn't live up to its reputation. Crowley drones through the day-by-day events of Mehmet's siege and the results of the conquest. Perhaps the author's most instructive point, made by others as well, is that Mehmet turned the city into one where religious toleration and multiculturalism flourished." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Crowley's book...is anything but academic. In fact, it has the flourish of historical fiction, stuffed to the gills with court intrigue, massive armies on the move, religious portents all building up to a crescendo in 1453, when the Ottoman Turks besieged Constantinople and changed history." San Francisco Chronicle
"Swiftly paced, useful guide to understanding the long enmity between Islam and Christianity." Kirkus Reviews
"The characters...are drawn in great detail from historical source material to bring them to life on the page." Los Angeles Times
When Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, a remarkable era in world history ended. In this volume, Crowley gives a complete and compelling account of the Holy War for Constantinople and the clash of Islam and the West that gave rise to today's jihad.
Now in trade paperback, a gripping exploration of the fall of Constantinople and its connection to the world we live in today
The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history, and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's readable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, illuminates the period in history that was a precursor to the current jihad between the West and the Middle East.
About the Author
Roger Crowley was born in England and studied English at Cambridge University. After university, he taught English in Istanbul where he developed his interest in the city and its history. He has traveled widely throughout Turkey, including three journeys on foot across Western Anatolia, and has a working knowledge of Turkish. For the past fifteen years he has worked as a successful educational publisher for Nelson Thornes in Cheltenham, England.